Express opinion and fact in the correct settings to make your point effectively. For example, when expressing an opinion among friends, instead of saying that something “is the best,” say, “I think it is the best.” Here is where phrases like “I feel,” “I think,” and “I believe” work very well. You’re sharing a belief with friends. It’s fine to use those examples of soft language. In personal discussions about opinions, it’s not necessary to use strong language. In fact, opinions stated as fact with friends (“That movie was the worst …”) may alienate them.
In business, it’s different. “I feel,” “I think,” and “I believe” weaken your position. They take away your credibility as an expert. Think about how these examples come off as sounding lame, or wishy-washy:
They don’t inspire much confidence, do they?
Take away the weak language (“I feel that,” “I think,”and “probably”) and then you will have statements of fact. Remember, experts know the facts.
Facts are statements that are true or false, they can be verified. Meanwhile, opinions are statements that express feeling, attitude, or belief. Use them correctly and your audience will have the information they need from you.
In your own writing or when giving a speech, make your own opinions more convincing by using facts to support them. As communicators, we want to gain the confidence of others. Communicating accurately builds credibility.
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